Setting up of industrial vaccination centres lauded

Jonathan Chai

KUCHING: Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) secretary-general Jonathan Chai Voon Tok has commended the state government’s efforts in setting up dedicated industrial vaccination centres (PPVs).

“This will accelerate vaccinations for tens of thousands of workers throughout Sarawak.

“The move will definitely help to expedite the reopening of economic activities, which is critically needed for the recovery of our fragile economy.

“It is an important collaboration between the government and the private sector in their collective efforts to combat the pandemic,” he said when contacted today (June 26).

He noted that from recently released figures, a total of 25 workplace clusters involving 1,765 Covid-19 cases were recorded in just under a month’s duration between May 29 and June 24 in Sarawak this year.

“It is therefore crucial for us to vaccinate these workers so that we can contain outbreaks among the high-risk sectors, bearing in mind that a lot of workers are either staying in densely populated hostels or in villages where they practise communal living,” he said.

Chai pointed out that from one cluster, the virus could spread to the community as workers returned from work to their accommodations and villages.

In addition, he said the dedicated industrial PPVs would help to decentralise more of the large-scale PPVs, which had experienced congestion previously.

“Such arrangements will not just be more convenient for the public but also reduce the risk of spreading the virus in the more congested larger PPVs,” said Chai, who is also Kuching Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCGCCI) secretary-general.

He stressed that everyone must keep in mind that the vaccine alone would not stop community transmissions.

He said the public needed to continue to use face masks consistently, be in ventilated areas whenever possible, apply good hand hygiene, observe social distancing and avoid crowds.

“Compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) continues to be extremely important — even if we are vaccinated — when we still have ongoing community transmissions,” he said.

On Friday (June 25), Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said that attention would be given to all sectors in the state with regard to vaccinations.

He said the state government, particularly the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), was conducting their own research to identify sectors which required vaccinations, adding that all sectors would be evaluated.